Lawrence Wilkerson Held in Shooting Death of Rhett Gelb

Judge Lori Parker ordered Lawrence Wilkerson held on suspicion of first-degree murder while armed Tuesday in connection with the shooting death of Rhett Gelb.

Gelb was found shot on May 27, 2013 at the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and Hamilton Street Northwest next to a Cadillac Escalade, according to charging documents. He died two days later at Washington Hospital Center.

Charging documents in the case say Wilkerson shot Gelb during a drug deal after Gelb tried to pull one of his friends out of the car and away from Wilkerson.

Wilkerson is the second person arrested in connection with the case. Roger St. John has been held on suspicion of Felony Murder While Armed in Gelb’s death since December 25. His case is officially pending an indictment from the Grand Jury.

Prosecutors believe Gelb drove his car with two friends to the intersection of New Hampshire Avenue and Hamilton Street, Northwest, according to the documents. Shortly after he parked, documents say a fourth person arrived at the car and got in the back seat, where Gelb handed him $500 in cash.

The witness, a friend of Gelb, told police Gelb intended to buy a half pound of marijuana.

Shortly after the fourth person got in the car, a silver Lincoln parked a short distance from the Cadillac and Wilkerson got out and walked towards Gelb and the three others, according to the charging documents.

According to charging documents, Wilkerson walked up to the car, opened the door, grabbed the hair of one of Gelb’s friends while holding a gun, and said, “Where’s the money?”

The person who arrived after Gelb parked the car handed Wilkerson the money, and Gelb got out of the car and tried to pull his other friend out of the car, according to the charging documents. Wilkerson then shot Gelb and ran east towards the Lincoln, which then drove away, according to multiple witnesses.

A fourth witness, who claimed to have driven Wilkerson to participate in the sale of Oxycodone, said Wilkerson got out of the Lincoln and entered the Cadillac, before the witness saw Gelb fall to the ground next to the car. The witness said Wilkerson later confessed to the crime.

Police recovered closed-circuit television footage from a private security system nearby, which helped them identify the car in which Wilkerson allegedly fled the scene.

Wilkerson is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on July 25 before Judge John Ramsey Johnson.

Charging documents are below.

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